Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has returned $105,000 in campaign contributions that are under investigation by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations.
The money came from the employees of a North Canton business and their spouses and had sparked questions because contributions were made by individuals who did not have a record of making campaign donations and who did not appear to have high incomes.
Campaign spokesman Travis Considine on Thursday said the money was returned Tuesday to the 21 individuals who contributed to the Mandel Senate campaign. Mr. Mandel, who was sworn into office as state treasurer in January, 2011, is running against Democratic incumbent Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Similar-sized contributions were made to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth), and are also being probed.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson confirmed Wednesday that the FBI had interviewed Suarez Corp. employees and requested documents from the company and campaigns.
The probe centers on more than $200,000 in campaign contributions from employees at the Canton-based direct marketing firm owned by Benjamin Suarez, a frequent financial supporter of Republican causes.